Let me guess what you’re going to say. That you’re not going to watch next week’s Idol finale because it’s the worst case scenario come to life. That you hope the end of the world comes this weekend to spare us from Tuesday night. That this is bullshit and fuck this show anyway. But let me ask you a few things. First of all, did you do everything you could to prevent this from happening? Because I know I can sleep easy tonight. But also, come on, don’t be a jerk. You made it this far; let’s finish the thing off together.
It was an odd results show with lackluster, random star power for being so deep in the season. Before we got to any performances or video packages, though, Jimmy Iovine provided his input on how last night went. He had plenty of praise for each contestant, but just when it seemed like he was going to say they all could make it, he predicted, confidently, that a guy would make the finale. I didn’t want to believe him, but unfortunately Jimmy’s seemed way more clear-headed than most people associated with this show.
Idol’s cross-promotions with movies never go smoothly, and the contestants’ encounter with J.J. Abrams didn’t do much to break that tradition. I’m pretty sure the kids had absolutely no idea who he was, and the directors’ fancy special effects didn’t do much to play down the boredom and tiredness in their faces, although they did seem intrigued by the clips of Super 8 that he showed them before informing them how special it was that they had gotten to see the clips. One person who did seem excited though was the one of the film’s actors, Elle Fanning, who seemed near-hysterical to be at Idol, despite being related to that old Hollywood battleaxe, Dame Dakota.
Tonight was the night where we caught the footage of all the contestants visiting home. Haley’s trip was the most underwhelming, thanks to rainy weather and generic going-home stuff that could have taken place with any contestant on any season (although I enjoyed her rendition of “Sweet Home Chicago.”) Scotty returned to North Carolina and had cuter footage as he pitched with his baseball team and visited the grocery store where he works and was surprised onstage by “Your Man” singer Josh Turner. My only critique is that Scotty needs to work on his Attractive Cry. Lauren’s video package was the best, though: I found it endearing that she was crying before her plane even landed. Being the evil witch I am, I expected her visit to the storm damage in Georgia to be a cloying photo opp, but the wreckage was awful and Lauren’s reaction seemed sincerely heartbroken (she’s so much lovelier, by the way, when she’s not wearing her stage makeup). From a cynical point of view, Lauren “won” best story but I also thought it was completely sincere.
Like I said, both guest performances came from left field. The first was an Italian group called Il Volo that hasn’t quite landed here in America yet but who Ryan promised is about to make it big. They looked a bit like the Italian Jonas Brothers and sang “O Sole Mio” in about the most traditional way you could imagine. Doesn’t this group exist already and it’s called Il Divo? Personally, if we were going to hear a European performer who few Americans know I would have much rather had Robyn. All Robyn, all the time.
Then Nichole Scherzinger sang a song, the title of which I don’t remember but I imagine would sound relatively unobjectionable coming out of a convertible on a summer day. Nichole resembles the drag queen Sutan, and I mean that as a compliment. Her pre-taped (I assumed, since the judges were not present for her performance but were for Il Volo’s) performance was eventually joined by 50 Cent. It all seemed slightly off-brand. Nicole, by the way, was dressed like a slutty swan.
I actually felt tense when we got to the results, maybe because of my sudden change of heart last night. Ryan announced the first contestants who would make it to the finale, and he proved Jimmy right. Yep, that country goofball from auditions actually made it to the durn finale. I felt bad for the girls, because they both deserved to be there more than Scotty. And so the girl we left behind tonight was my brand-new favorite, Haley.
Haley seemed pissed at first by the news (I’ve heard rumors that apparently she’s “a handful” on set, although that won’t be a problem anymore) but was able to summon magnanimousness. Right before she sang, I thought of all of you out there who were pissed by this result. I feel you. Haley reprised “Benny and the Jets,” which was my favorite of all her performances. She seemed like she was loose and partying onstage, reinforcing how much it sucked that she worked so hard last night and still didn’t make it.
So, it’s come to this. I hoped as much as most of you did that we wouldn’t have an all-country finale. I imagine that the producers are savvy enough to remember those of us who didn’t anticipate this show turning into CMT programming, so I’m sure we’ll see something relatively pop-ish, somewhere. All I know is, vote for Lauren.
—Tonight was one of Lauren’s worst nights, outfit-wise. I’d love to know how much input she has on her getups, or if she works with a costumer with a grudge who likes to work as much against her proportions as possible.
—The Ford music video centered around a feature in the new Focus where you can plug your flip/cameraphone into the car and watch the video on the screen, which seems unsafe at worst, unnecessary at best.